Protecting Western Australia's valuable agriculture and food sector, environmental biodiversity, desirable lifestyle and social amenity has been strengthened by the launch of the State Biosecurity Strategy in the Swan Valley today.
The WA Biosecurity Strategy 2016-25, made possible by the Liberal National Government's Royalties for Regions program, provided a framework to manage biosecurity issues, including plant and animal pests, diseases and weeds, as well as diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans.
Agriculture and Food Minister Mark Lewis said the strategy would improve co-ordination between government, industry and the community to minimise biosecurity risks within and beyond the WA border.
"While our remote location is a powerful defence against many of the world's worst pests and diseases, increasing globalisation and a changing climate has heightened these risks," Mr Lewis said.
"Biosecurity is a shared responsibility and it is important that all stakeholders have a clear understanding of their role and confidence in a robust decision making process, backed by strong policies and processes.
"The State's enviable biosecurity reputation is invaluable to securing market access and our tough and sophisticated protocols are regarded as among the best in the world. This strategy will reinforce our international standing and pave the way for new export opportunities that will help to grow the agriculture and food sector, and the State economy."
The WA Biosecurity Strategy has been developed as part of the $20 million Boosting Biosecurity Defences project under the $350 million Royalties for Regions Seizing the Opportunity Agriculture initiative.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the strategy spanned land and marine environments from the Kimberley to the South Coast and would support the preservation of those assets for future generations to enjoy.
"I am pleased to see Royalties for Regions instrumental in building a sustainable and co-ordinated management of biosecurity risks across WA," Mr Redman said.
"Strong and innovative biosecurity defences are crucial to the future of WA agriculture and the strength of our regional economy."
WA agrifood, fibre and fisheries are highly export orientated, accounting for a combined $7.8 billion in exports in 2014-15
Agricultural product exports were 78 per cent of production value in 2014-15
The WA Biosecurity Strategy will be reported against annually and reviewed within three years
For more information about the WA Biosecurity Strategy 2016-25, visit http://www.agric.wa.gov.au and search for 'State biosecurity strategy'
Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 6400
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700